By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff Officials with the Union County Sheriff ’s Office received a major break in their investigation into the death of a Mount Holly resident killed last week at his home during an apparent robbery, Union County Sheriff Ken Jones reported Wednesday.
A preliminary medical report on Jerry Cornelious French, 67, lists the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, said Jones, adding that French’s truck – a 2003 white Chevrolet Avalanche which had been missing several days – was found Tuesday by authorities at an apartment complex south of Dallas.
"I sent two investigators to Dallas, who are still there, and they began processing the vehicle this morning for DNA, fingerprints and other evidence," said Jones.
"This is a valuable piece of evidence that might lead us to the suspect," Jones said. "I am encouraged by the recovery and processing of the evidence from that vehicle."
Investigators will head to Little Rock today with their evidence after working leads in and around the area where the vehicle was abandoned, said Jones, adding that they had been working with the Dallas Police homicide division for the last two days.
A medium caliber weapon was used in the attack on French, who was shot at close range, said Jones, though an exact date of death was still not determined. A review of the crime scene indicated the victim died some time prior to Friday when the body was found, said Jones.
French’s residence, located at 259 Bertha Williams Road in Mount Holly, appeared to have been burglarized and there were indications of forced entry into the home, according to investigators. Anyone with information should contact the Union County Sheriff ’s Office at 870-864-1970.